To me, it’s one of the loveliest words in the English language. I love the patterns the sunlight makes in the water, the scent of sunscreen, the snatches of conversation that come in and out of my consciousness. That first day at the pool is pure bliss.

For you, perhaps, not so much. A series of blows upon the ego—in the dressing room (do I really look like that?); the wallet (how much for these three microscopic pieces of lycra) and in our heart of hearts (This is hopeless. I'll never have the perfect body.)

The fact is, a day at the pool really is a day at the beach. Vitamin D in abundance, sunlight as mood elevator, easy exercise in the pool. Don’t waste precious moments feeling bad about your body. Before your outing, treat it kindly with a beauty treatment (mani-pedi, massage, waxing) and a little water aerobics. Sleep (in the shade) and wake up to find that whatever wintry thoughts were dragging you down have miraculously disappeared. Or try taking in the scene through new eyes—your phone’s viewfinder, perhaps—and create some artful IG worthy photos.

A few hours at the pool can be therapy without the angst. A fresh face without make-up. A restorative outlook for your loveliest, sunniest { self. }